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Festival cancellations after wet weekend in Oz

Several Australian festivals were cancelled at the eleventh hour last weekend as severe storms battered the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland.

4-D International’s third Party in the Park, scheduled for Saturday 18 March in Sydney’s Pittwater Park, was called off the previous day on the advice of police and the Northern Beaches council.

A statement from the festival said the decision was “completely out of our control”. “It has been a terrible day for us,” it reads. “We are so very sorry; however, there is nothing we can do. Mother Nature has taken [her] toll and the weather conditions for tomorrow are just too severe. All festival tickets will be fully refunded by Moshtix.”

Also affected was touring festival Red Hot Summer Tour, which postponed its sold-out Kiama, New South Wales, leg after the site was hit by more than 150ml (nine cubic inches) of rain in 24 hours.

“Patron safety … cannot be guaranteed if the event proceeds”

“The decision to postpone was not taken lightly,” promoter Duane McDonald said on Friday. “With over 150ml of rain in the last 24 hours, and 75–90ml and high winds forecast for tomorrow, we believe that patron safety is paramount and cannot be guaranteed if the event proceeded.”

Sydney’s St Patrick’s Day parade was also called off over weather concerns, while Canberra hot-air balloon festival Balloon Spectacular experienced its “worst run of ballooning weather in its 30-year history”.

The cancellations come after Sundaise Productions, the promoter of New Zealand’s Sundaise Festival, was criticised for not calling off the 2017 event, which saw some 200 people evacuated after a nearby river burst its banks and flooded the festival site.

A number of European festivals, including Germany’s Rock am Ring and Southside, were called off in 2016 after a summer of severe weather.


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Star Events turns 40

Star Events, the UK’s largest supplier of stages, bespoke temporary structures and high-level rigging services for the live industry, today turns 40.

Founded as touring sound supplier Star Hire by Roger Barrett and Maddy Sheals in 1976, the Bedfordshire-based company’s first contract was with singer-songwriter Carol Crimes. It later went on to supply audio equipment for Split Enz, Miles Davis and the Rock Against Racism tour of 1979.

Star Hire’s staging business made its debut at the 1983 Notting Hill Carnival after Barrett and Sheals, the latter of whom retired in 2014, determined they could do better than the platforms then available to them as a PA supplier.

Other highlights from Star’s four-decade career in live entertainment include supplying its VerTech stage system for The Stones Roses’ legendary show on Spike Island in 1990 and Live 8 in Hyde Park in 2005, providing over 1,000 tons of equipment for Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK in 2010 and designing and building the Park Live venue for the 2012 London Olympic games.

“It feels brilliant to still be as motivated and up-for-it as I was 40 years ago”

Recent projects include Airbnb’s Floating House on the Thames, and the Samsung Hypercube – as used by Biffy Clyro for their groundbreaking virtual-reality show at Reading this weekend – currently touring UK festivals.

The company opened an office in China in 2007, later acquired the Orbit Flexidome brand and was in June 2014 itself acquired by the French Altrad Group.

“It feels brilliant to still be as motivated and up-for-it as I was 40 years ago, while our ever growing team continues to make us the first choice for so many small, medium and large festivals and other events,” says Barrett. “A huge thank you to everyone who has played a part. Here’s to the next 40.”


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